Archaeologists have denied the authenticity of the relics of St. James from the Roman church of Santi Apostoli
An international team of archaeological scientists analyzed the relics of St. James, which have been kept in the Roman church of Santi Apostoli for 1500 years, and concluded that in fact the remains belonged to a completely different person. The research results are published in the Heritage Science Journal.
The publication says that the researchers selected two types of materials: materials from bones and mummies and samples of architecture. Analyzes included radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dating, gas and liquid chromatography, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, etc.
“The results show that the specimens underwent a number of conservative and exhibition treatments. The alleged femur of St. James was dated between 214 and 340 AD (2σ confidence), which indicates it cannot be St. James,” the study said. …
The Church of Santi Apostoli was built in the third quarter of the 6th century AD and is dedicated to Saint Philip and Saint James. The relics of both saints were discovered in a stone box during archaeological excavations under the church in 1873. Where the remains were transferred to Rome is unknown.
Scientists could not determine the age of the remains of Saint Philip.
In the Christian tradition, three saints with the name Jacob are revered: Jacob Zebedeev (“elder”, one of the 12 apostles), Jacob Alfeyev (“junior”, also one of the 12 apostles) and Jacob (“brother of the Lord”, one of 70 followers of Christ, who, according to various versions, was either a cousin of Jesus or the son of Joseph from his first marriage).
Jacob Alfred and Jacob from 70 are often confused, both are called “younger”. Exactly whose remains were believed to rest in Santi Apostoli is unknown, but it is not exactly Jacob Zebedeev. For the study, this does not really matter, since all three lived at about the same time – in the first half of the 1st century AD.
According to some testimonies, Jacob from 70 was the first bishop of Jerusalem and was martyred: he was thrown by the Jews from the wing of the Jerusalem temple and stoned about 62 AD. He is also believed to be the author of James, which is part of the New Testament. Jacob Alfeyev, according to various versions, was either stoned by the Jews or crucified on a cross on the way to Egypt. When this happened is unknown, but it is believed that he was a member of the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem (c. 49 AD).